Diverse designers’ fashions to ‘Rock the Runway’

Allison Remecheck

Caroline Liebman, sophomore fashion design major, designs a line for the fashion show on March 8 in the Rathskeller.

Credit: Allison Remecheck

It started as a sketch, then became a detailed drawing.

The color, the cut, the style became the subject of hours of tribulation.

Images that previously floated in an artist’s imagination are now sewn into reality. These students turned fashion designers will showcase their first line on the runway.

Caroline Liebman, sophomore fashion design major and a designer for the Rock the Runway show, said her older brother, an illustrator, was the first person to introduce her to art.

“I’ve definitely been into art ever since I was little,” she said. “I was always watching him and watching what he was doing.”

As a child, Liebman said she designed clothes for her Barbie dolls with a Barbie fashion design computer game and made them clothes out of Kleenex. Now, she is a painter, specializing in oils paints and watercolors.

She also designs clothing — something she started to express her own individuality because she is a self-proclaimed anti-fashionista.

And Liebman’s designs aren’t necessarily for the sleek and sophisticated. Because she attended a private school where uniforms were required, Liebman said she was forced to think of out-of-the box ideas to spice up her outfits.

“Ever since I first started getting into being able to dress individually, I became interested in deconstruction,” Liebman said.

Seams are one of the main focuses in deconstruction fashion. They are placed in unexpected areas so the stitches are prominent for an inside-out look.

“The finishes aren’t clean at all,” Liebman said. “It looks even cooler if you go back and stitch it up yourself. It’s very artistic, very different from what everyone else is wearing.”

For the Rock the Runway show, Liebman, along with her co-designer, Drew Danals, created a Western-style line of clothing. The pair based their line off of up-and-coming trends.

“Western’s getting really big right now,” Liebman said.

The Western Rebel line consists of prairie skirts, bigger pants with chaps and lacing details. She said a colorful, Western-style apron she found inspired the designs.

Turquoise, red, navy blue and yellow colors taken from the apron are prevalent in Liebman and Danal’s designs.

She views the fashion show as a fun way to exhibit her work.

“We figured it was going to be more fun than work-intensive,” Liebman said. “It’s going to be a more diverse group of people (than other Kent State fashion shows).”

Rock the Runway isn’t just for fashion students. Designer Christopher Taylor is a sophomore nursing major who might just have the audience seeing spots.

Polka Dots!!!

Taylor’s described his line, Polka Dots!!! as “A lot of polka dots, very trendy, very kind of modern-looking.”

His major pieces are a tango-style ballroom gown and a 1950s-esque polka-dotted dress.

Polka dots are one of Taylor’s own fashion favorites.

“I personally love to wear polka dots,” Taylor said, “and I think they’re very fashionable and a lot of fun.”

Design has been part of Taylor’s life for years, he said. His mother started helping him when he was young.

Taylor learned to sew when he was 12. In his early days, he made quilts and blankets and hemmed clothes for friends. Now, Taylor has moved on to more complicated design.

“I started making my own style and my own clothing last year,” he said.

Although he loves fashion, Taylor said he feels he would rather complete his nursing major.

“I love nursing and I have a huge passion with nursing, and I love to be with people,” he said.

Taylor said he could pursue fashion even without a degree.

“A lot of designers didn’t start out at fashion design schools,” he said. “They just happened to strike it big with originality.”

Taylor hopes to put his foot in the door at Rock the Runway.

“I love the idea,” he said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone to be involved in design.”

Rock the Runway is a music and clothing collaboration where Kent State students can exhibit their one-of-a-kind fashion designs March 8 in the Rathskeller.

Contact features reporter Allison Remcheck at [email protected].